tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 12, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
>> good evening, i am matthew dowd sitting in for charlie rose who is on assignment. president obama will deliver his final state of the union on tuesday. he is expected to touch on three themes, the economy, and civic participation. his chief of staff said it would provide a contrast of what he called the doom and gloom of the leading contenders in the republican presidential race. the gop race in iowa remains
close as donald trump and ted cruz run neck and. marco rubio -- and again neck. cruz run neck and neck. marco rubio is in third. mont n new york, frank z, a political consultant. and tavis smiley. welcome. let me start with you. the state of the union tomorrow night. the state ofhink the union is for most americans tuning and tomorrow? >> it is a lot better than it was seven years ago, but i am not sure the perception is that much different. i think people feel this has been an uneven recovery. it has been a pronounced
recovery. 5% unemployment. that is half of what it was 6.5 years ago, but i am not sure that feeling is as pervasive as most people feel. matthew: frank, what do you think? >> when you ask the question, are america's best years ahead or behind, for the first time in majority says our best years are behind us? . on all the statistics, al is right, the numbers are positive, but the perception is so dark and so depressing. if you speak to americans across the country, they tell you they have been betrayed by washington, broken promises by corporate america, and they feel no one is on their side. matthew: do you think the response -- the republican saying doom and gloom, is more in touch with where the public
is? or the president's optimism is closer? >> they are both wrong. [laughter] that's why the public is so frustrated. they have to offer a more hopeful approach. it is acceptable to talk about how things have not been the way that americans expected things to be. if you do not give them a path, the public has every right to reject them. bookew: tav, your new how in some cases thinks may be worse. what do you think? >> it depends who you ask. i would not disagree with much of what they have said, but the 1% are doing better. wall street is doing better. if you u.s. the hispanic community, some progress, not enough. black folk,lik -- it pains me to say, but black
america has lost ground in every leading economic category in the last 10 years. i wanted to see where are we on these top 10 issues in african-americans. when you lost ground in every major economic category in 10 years, including -- the book was out before president obama. and black people, when losing that fast, it is not a good picture. matthew: the presidential historical election in 2008, the first african-american president. say,ople turn to that they i elected this person and there will be historical change, and nothing has changed, is that problematic for him? >> i think that ultimately, the historians will root for obama.
in the era of the first black president, the bottom fell out for black america. they were still politically marginalized, economically exploited, socially manipulated. how do you juxtapose that? i'm glad i am not a historian. i think they will root for obama because it is a good american story. you have to say that america did a good thing, they elected the brother. when they get to the part about how you juxtapose those two realities, his success and the bottoming out for black america, that will be hard to tell. >> the most optimistic people in america are african-americans. they are so excited about this president. they still defend him. matthew: does that attitude change dramatically as soon as a republican is elected? >> so much of america was proud
in two dozen it, it wasn't -- in 2008, it wasn't just black america. millions needed to see that this country could make that step. what's fascinating to me is that the community is suffering economically, and they still believe tomorrow will be better than today. >> one of the things that struck me, looking at elections returns in louisiana and last year, african-americans now vote in just as heavy numbers as whites, which was not the case pre-obama. i do not disagree with anything that tab us sai -- that tavis said, but maybe this reflects the optimism that frank alluded to. there was a great african-american turnout in louisiana, georgia, north carolina -- i think that may become a permanent condition.
matthew: turning to the state of the union, you have seen a lot. not to put an age on you. [laughter] >> mckinley was great. delivered in paper. matthew: this is an interesting context. we have had over the last four rty years, only a few presidents elected in two consecutive terms. president bush, very bad perception of the economy, bill clinton was the reverse. then ronald reagan, doing well on his final state of the union. context of an the where theitical race, former secretary of state is the dominant candidate.
how much of any will matter in the course of the president's legacy and the politics we will face. >> not much for the latter, but interestingly, all three of those previous two-term presidents faced the same situation. two of them had their vice president running then. the final year state of the union, whether reagan, bush, clinton -- it's about their legacy. he has to be up there and be can do. to say here are the incredible things america has accomplished. there will be a laundry list, some legislative requests, and he might get a few, but by and large, the eighth year is about their legacy. in that context, i think it will be very similar in theme and town to bush, reagan, and
clinton. >> when i listened to the criticism of this president from the republican side, i get opposing criticism. he has not been a leader, he has not done anything, america is lost -- that is one thing. than the opposite, this president is a crazy ideologue. he has done all these crazy things. where is the president in that? >> the truth is typically somewhere in the middle. there is no doubt this is where historians will be judging him not so harshly. we are in a recession but not a depression. will debate the climate change thing for years to come but by and large, the president got some things done. more than i thought.
but the obstructionism is a real issue. to anyone on the right declare that he didn't get anything done -- if you believe he didn't get anything done it's because you blocked everything he tried to do and if he got anything done he did it around you. i don't buy the argument. >> if you look at the president's a compliments, unemployment 5%, millions of jobs have been added, the american auto industry was saved, the highest sales announced last week in the history of the country, he got osama bin laden. it doesn't seem to be reflected in the perception of the public. >> i want to step slightly out of tomorrow's speech because you have to look at where he could of been. if you go back -- could have been. 2009, he back to
could've ushered in post partisanship, but he chose not to. he could brought in republicans and not allowed nancy pelosi to say, it is our way or the highway. he chose not to. i don't blame him, i blame former speaker pelosi for that. i saw one brief moment when he could've changed the entire political system, and he chose not to. that was the missed opportunity. the congress has been absolutely opposed to him because his signature legislation -- health care, only 38% supported it on the day it was passed. a clear majority against it and here he is trying to promote legislation and the america people said please don't. he was right to focus on the issue, but his approach was wrong, and still a majority of
americans have opposed it. >> i have disagreed once with matt dowd, and now once with you. i don't buy the first part, because i think the story is different. to my mind, president obama was too deferential to republicans. i could give you a laundry list of things where he let them run the table. the on reason why the health the thing exists is because president was about to throw a towel in on that. they say we will make this happen one way or another but into me ways he has been too deferential. >> when this country works best is when the president works with tremendousey had public support which is what allowed bill clinton to win reelection and the republicans to keep the house and senate. >> the key component is -- >> matthew, i have to weigh in.
thing,nton-gingrich clinton rolled newt gingrich every chance he got. that is why they got things done, because gingrich capitulated. a president is not supposed to turn his back on a strong leader. you may not like nancy pelosi but she is a very strong speaker. stronger than any speaker perhaps in our lifetime. that is what they do. >> do you think he makes the mistake to try to point fingers? >> i think he rises above it. this is legacy time. if he is smart he will rise above it. the debate will be why didn't he get more done. did he not try hard enough or was he obstructed? you cannot work with so many who does not want to work with you. on the first-day of your inauguration in the senate minority leader says, our job is to defeat him? come on.
how do you get something done? >> i will turn some -- turn to something now that is probably not as soaring as the republican primary race for president. where are we on this race? impossiblet almost to see a scenario where an establishment republican can get the nomination. in iowa to a down two way race. , and theruz and trump battle for the nomination may reflect the same. felt bynger that is about 60% of the electorate on the republican side is palpable. you hear it before the focus groups begin. you should look at it not as left-right, but tonal. youyou angry, or are
acquiescent? 70% of the gop primary electorate is angry so they are voting for trump, cruise, and chris christie. or with jeb bush and ben carson with a more gentle approach. we reached the point that if you do not yell in politics, people don't hear you. >> if you had to take your family's money and put it on the table and say i will bet it on this person winning the nomination, who is that? >> we should not be endorsing gambling since young people watch the show. [laughter] i believe that ted cruz win in iowa, donald trump wins in new hampshire and south carolina. if you force me to bet right now, i have never said this on television, but i would say that trump has a narrow advantage over ted cruz. you still have to watch rubio. mement of the established
candidates or acquiescent candidates. >> they are so outnumbered and out-shouted. >> i am about to have a fred sanford moment. please say it ain't so. i don't think it matters either way, whether it is cruz or trump, i don't think you can get there from here. in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic america -- that dog won't hunt. what trump is selling, ain't nobody going to buy it writ large. bill clinton said the elections are about the future, not about the past. i don't see how that message sales on a brighter future for america. >> there is one problem, is that the opponent will be hillary quentin.
-- hillary clinton. regardless of bernie sanders wins iowa or new hampshire, she will be the opponent. >> does that extend their process much longer? only 29% of americans think she has the honesty and integrity to be president. we have never had anyone close to those numbers. how are you so sure that person wins, when less than one of three voters, and only half of your party thinks she has the honesty and integrity to win? >> if trump or cruz is the nominee, you will scare the hades out of everybody else and they will show up. >> it doesn't matter what my numbers are as long as i make the other person's numbers worse. you think hillary clinton's folks are begging that donald trump or ted cruz when the nomination? >> they are matthew, but there
is a danger and that. 1966, california democrats prayed for ronald reagan, rather than the mayor of san francisco. they got their wish and have been suffering ever since. let me make one silent observation about the republicans. the danger for the republican party, if it is a trump or a cruz, does it totally change the party? does it become part of the anti-immigration party? the anti-trade party? that is a real danger for republicans. if that is the case, there will be a new party or a split. hillary clinton is a very weak candidate. unless impressed by the 29% giving her high marks on honesty. i was around when richard nixon was elected twice, but she has problems in all kinds of constituencies. in our latest poll, only 35% of
young people have a favorable view of hillary clinton. obama got 60% of those votes. her greatest hope right now is that she will run against a weak republican candidate. description of this likelihood environment, means the two parties will nominate candidates that are disliked and distrusted at huge levels, and who are on their own unelectable. that is a choice the american public will be faced with, which is not a happy choice. >> ultimately, we will have to decide what kind of nation we have to be. what kind of people do we want to be? for republicans they will have to figure out who they want to be, and what they will stand for. i think republicans can win these elections, but i don't see
the country at this point turning in that direction. i don't see someone who is attacking people on race, and religion -- you cannot expand your party if you will be the anti-immigrant party. i don't see the numbers. >> you raised the best point of all, republicans have the majority in the senate, the biggest majority in the house since the 228, which was -- since 1928, which was al's first campaign. [laughter] they have more legislatures and legislators than anytime. republicans have been winning everything except the white house. >> one year and one week from now is the inauguration, who takes the oath? >> i will be living in new zealand, so i don't care. we are on public television, but this is a screw you election. istening to tavis and al,
know that half of americans will feel that the president is unacceptable to them. i am so afraid of where this country will be one year from today, because however divided it is, it will be much worse. they will use advertising and social media. they will use everything possible to drive home this message that the other side is evil. we cannot fix that. we have so poisoned the minds of the public, that even the best doctors could not save us. matthew: on that optimistic note, al, i will go to you. i don't want frank to kill himself or take medicine he shouldn't. one year and one week from now, who takes the oath of office? >> if i had to bet now, i would say hillary clinton, but we have been so wrong that there is no reason to think there will not be intervening events. i think the race will go on for
a long time. bernie may well win both, but even if he doesn't, the race will go on. the one confident production that i will make, i will go on a limb and say there will be things that none of us imagine today that will occur over the next six months. >> i will agree with al on that last comment, and his assessment that it will be divided either way. as we move closer to the king holiday, king once said that cowardice asks, is it safe? expedients asks is it politic? conscience asks, is it right? sometimes we have to make decisions that are neither safe, comfortable, politic or convenient, but because our conscience as it is right. i believe the conscience of america will be picked -- pricked in this election cycle. america has always been about flowering, flourishing, and
expanding opportunity for others. if that is the message the democratic candidate delivers, that is the candidate who wins. >> it is up to us to make that happen. we have to communicate a more positive future. matthew: we look forward to the next 100 years of your coverage, al. [laughter] the covenant with black america by tavis smiley. ♪
ondr. david's work focuses technologies that changes the way we maintain optimal health. his new book reveals how medical science can extend and improve human life as never before. it is called "the lucky years." i am pleased to have david akers back at this table. -- david agus here at this table. as many of you know he is a colleague of mine. i have followed with many of the fascination -- meant -- much of the same fascination, many of the issues he has followed. in terms of understanding them, and the real-life effort to extend the lives of people that are his patients. i am pleased to have him back at
this table. >> thank you, charlie. charlie: why do we collect the lucky years? >> i've heard it called the inflection point, when the curvature of time goes like this. several years ago, i would have never been there because there was nothing happening like this. technology, health care information, big data, all came together at once. >> let me read a quote from you. you said, we are at the point where there is a discovery ever week that is transformative. our bodies are talking all the time. now, for the first time, we can listen in. what are we hearing? ck yourn print you finger, get a drop of flood, and look at all the proteins. these proteins converse in the
body. of --d of dna, in front dna is the ingredient list, protein is what is going on in a moment in time. we can personalize things in a different level. instead of what could happen, we can see what is happening. >> take me to cancer, that is where you spend most of your life. >> this is the first time in my career, that i can walk into a patients room and say there is hope with advanced cancer. it stems from three different areas. the first is immunotherapy. cancers are born with a don't eat me symbol on the surface. now we have the ability to block the signals. and we can make people live longer and better.
president carter was diagnosed melanoma, metastatic, and spread to the brain. that was a death sentence several years ago, now hopefully it is a life sentence. signal, your that t cells come in and eat the cancer and keep it under control. it can last for several years. the immune system keeps surveillance and keeps the cancer down. eventually it will change and get around it but it rises quality time to make new discoveries -- it buys us quality time to make new discoveries. matthew: immunotherapy ash charlie boy immunotherapy -- ilie:i immunotherapy is part of it. in addition to the limiting the cancers but the capacity to not
just a specialized with respect to one particular cancer, but more than one. >> it is all changing. in the 1800s, we called cancer by body parts. now it is the on and off switches. in the book about steve jobs, he called it something beautiful -- jumping lily pad to lily pad. with steve's cancer, we would give him a drug and he was safe on a lily pad, when the cancer progressed, he was swimming in the pond. it is a beautiful way to describe these technologies. the hope is we can discover more and more of these lily pads, these off and on switches. we are not winning the war on cancer, but there is hope. charlie: what do we need to do to win? >> we need to think differently. we are targeting the cancer cell. we do not target the system.
when you drop a match after it rains, nothing happens. when you drop a match in los angeles, it goes up in flames. the eyelid is the only place in the body you do not put sunscreen. almost all the changes to the cell show cancer in the eyelid, but there is the cancer. one of them will be changing the environment. aftertreatment give a woman who builds -- give a woman a drug that builds bone after osteoporosis. change the soil, and the seed doesn't grow. different waylly of approaching cancer that will happen more and more often. changing the system. charlie: tell me the eyelid thing again. >> the eyelid is the one thing you do not -- one place you do not put sunscreen. uv radiation causes damage. if i sequenced your eyelid, i would find all the dna changes,
but you do not have cancer. you need dna changes, but also an environment that needs cancer to grow. to me, cancer is a verb. you don't get cancer, you have cancer. it is a process your body is going through. if i sequenced the blood of 100 people, i would find that seven of them at the changes of leukemia in their blood but they do not have leukemia, the environment did not allow it to grow. all of our therapy has been here. the next generation will target here. statinshese drugs like prevent cancer? because they change the system. charlie: are there other drugs in the pipeline? >> i hope. there was a major discovery with elephants. they are 40 times bigger with -- than you or i, yet they get almost no cancer. the mothers give
birth until age 60, the fathers live until age 70. until the day they die, they protect the pack. they developed a way to not get cancer. they have this gene, you and i have one copy of it, they have 20 copies. 30,most of us, after age children don't need us anymore. the elephant evolved a way to not get cancer so they can continue to protect the herd. we will not wait one million years, but we will take the outlier effect and try to learn from it to prevent cancer in you and i. charlie: if you look at all the possibilities, how far off are we? where you can take any organ of it body, and regrow parts of through stem cell. >> we are at the beginning of a stem cell explosion. charlie: we just talked about
immunotherapy, gene editing, all of those things are just taking off, took up. isimmunotherapy is here, taking off. gene editing is still in the evolution. 3-d printing on the organs, stem cells, it is happened. there is a girl with a bladder that was 3-d printed through her own stem cells. more complex organs have not been done yet, but probably will. it has been donin simple things like a bladder and skin. those are simple organs compared to a kidney, or a heart. it will happen in heartfelt soon. relatively. charlie: meeting? >> the next year or two. stem cells can become anything. charlie: it can become a heart valve. >> you print it in the shape of
a micro valve. charlie: within a year or two? >> yes. the real rake through will be, thereakthrough will be, in 1950's, she tied these rats skins together, and three weeks later white hair turned brown again, new muscles, the heartbeat better, and she claims she reversed aging. the only paper she ever published. year,r in harvard this they repeated it and it worked. charlie: how long ago did she do it? >> 1953. charlie: what is her name? >> martha. charlie: who was she affiliated with? >> harvard. last year at harvard they did it and it worked. charlie: they took the rats. >> the mice, and they gave plasma, the proteins from the blood from a young us to an old
one. they found that stem cells go to sleep at a certain age, and these proteins wake up the stem cells so they can make new neurons in the brain. they can make the heart the better, new muscle stronger. what is exciting is, we will never live to 130 or 140. >> why not? >> there is general engineering failure in the body. charlie: but that means that organs are failing, and he just said that we can create cells, that create tissue, that create organs. so you are defeating the thing that kills us. disease that causes our heart and lungs -- >> the short run, it will make quality years into the 90's and 100s. the sky is probably the limit, but not within our lifetime. but within our lifetime, we will make the eighth, ninth, 10th
decade quality. charlie: what is it they have to overcome? some kind of adverse reaction? >> they need to identify the individual technology. the two to three to four proteins that do this. give them a shot. ife a diabetic its insulin, you break your leg when you're 70, you will get a shot and heal quicker. we will unleash the potential for a cure within you. charlie: i don't think we can spend too much money on it. >> this is the problem i have. ideas like this are great, but it is a tiny fraction of our budget spent on it. charlie: that is my point. >> we've talked a lot information,, the root of heart disease cancer. who is discovering the heart of inflammation? no one. i love science for science's point we needome
a hierarchy of what the world needs. charlie: i want to talk about the things that could go wrong. let's talk about gene editing. there is a concern that if you start screwing around with the genetic code, you do not know the impact on the next generation. >> you will not know for 50 years. charlie: that is scary. you may be doing damage you will not know for 50 years. >> i agree. there is an ob/gyn in new jersey. mitochondria disorder is a disorder that affects women who cannot give birth. this ob/gyn was taking the nucleus of the women and putting it into a donor ache. essentially the child had -- donor egg. essentially, child had three parents. he had been doing that for 20 years. 40 children were born. nobody knows what happened to them, nobody regulates it, nobody follows him. when somebody published you
could do this, the world woke up and said, this guy has been doing it. we need to follow these outcomes, but it will take a case to see if we are right or wrong. many times that is scary when playing with the life of a child. but we know that if you have a certain gene and want to have a child, you need it corrected. if you need a brca alteration, you want that corrected. you don't what the child to go through what you did. it ise: why is it that better to freeze your sperm for example, then it is to create new sperm when you are whatever age you are? what is the age that it starts becoming dangerous? >> what we know is, as the fathergets older, if a tries to have a child he can, longer than a woman, but the
risk of autism goes up dramatically. charlie: what do we know about that? >> we have no idea. it is a spectrum of disorder. it is probably many different things. epigenetic's probably plays a role. many things we do not understand. charlie: that is the problem, there are many genes to control things. >> it is a complex system. charlie: the progress we have made primarily has been where they can focus and 10.1. -- and pinpoint one gene. as complex as that is, then the world is ours. >> we got lucky in cancer. sometimes with one gene, we turn it off and get a benefit. there are few disorders like that. charlie: artificial intelligence. what is the risk? looking at the dark side. >> we think with a moral system,
a code of ethics, and a responsibility for the short and long-term. artificial intelligence is optimized on the parameter of which somebody programs it. begin not have the human eth os. programs do not have the human ethos. there is a test where they go in and say real, real, real, fake, real. you can say, why is that fake? they have no idea. artificial intelligence can make explicit decisions based on the hierarchy you tell it. that is what worries me. conscience is a tremendous thing. charlie: do you know how many scientists have said, what is the one thing you most want to know? they say consciousness. >> it is a tremendous thing.
humans have a unique characteristic that we will never be able to replicate. however it evolved, we are proud of it, but we are unique creatures. charlie: what they worry about in hollywood language, is that somehow an artificial brain will be so smart and can dominate. >> but we don't know the hierarchy. you make decisions based on your value system. there are no right or wrong answers for most things. dominatedld, we are the fact that blue cross was broken into, and this hub health records -- saw the health records. what happens if you go into the emergency room, they say charlie, you need antibiotics. but they will break into your records and someone will change it and take away your allergy. charlie: someone will
intentionally do you harm by breaking into your health record, so when they access it, it will be untrue. >> that will be the next generation of these break-ins. computing is exciting for our field, but there is danger there and it is scary. we are not addressing it like we should. classically, we address it when something bad happens. but there will be in our field something that happens in the next year that makes us take a step back and i am worried about it. the book is called "the lucky years." it is the promise of science. stay with us. ♪ we live in a pick and choose world.
choose, choose, choose. but at bedtime? ...why settle for this? enter sleep number, and the lowest prices of the season. sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. you like the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! only at a sleep number store... find the lowest prices of the season, going on now. save $600 on the #1 rated i8 bed. know better sleep with sleep number.
on sunday,wie died two days after his 69th birthday. he had been secretly battling cancer for 18 months. throughout his five decade career, he went by many names. ziggy stardust, among others. he always kept his fans guessing. his producer and close friend of 50 years said, david always did it his way, and his weight was the least obvious. he was a true genius who proved it over and over again. the new york times called him an
infinitely changeable, fierce strong writer who taught generations about the power of drama and persona. he appeared on charlie twice. >> generally, the direction of art is always dictated by the artist. in music it happens the same way. other musicians decide who they will be influenced by, and history will come through the creative artists. when you work in a creative area, you know nothing of what will be produced. it's only when you move slightly out of your depth and you feel lost, that is when you get something exciting. it will either be a dismal failure, or spectacularly what you want to do. >> and again, two years later. >> what i do is more of a creative thing in that way. opera,ine to draw from or the visual arts, from the
underground, from mainstream. to produce a new blend, which is probably a more complete way of describing the way that we live. creating a sense of the cultural spin, by amalgamating these different threads. that's it, innit? that's what it's all about. charlie: one of the things people always say, you keep an eye on what is new. >> i cannot take my eyes off them. appetite incredible for what we do, how we do it, how we express it. since i was a kid, i always want to know what is out there. what is happening. charlie: do you think yourself first a musician? >> no. actually, i find the idea of
having to say i am a musician is an embarrassment to me, because i don't really believe that. i have always felt that what i do is i use music for my way of expression. i don't believe i am very a cobblestone it -- i am very accomplished at it. i give a sigh of relief every time i come up with something that is whole or complete, and functions as a piece of music. fortunately, it does seem to be there all the time. i never seem to go dry, but i do not feel like a musician at all. charlie: you do not feel you have that talent? >> because i do not take myself seriously enough as a musician. i am too interested in the blending of different things. i have the attention span of a grasshopper. it is very difficult for me to become a craftsman. i suppose that i am quite
promiscuous, and a jack of all trades artistically. [laughter] you have to understand this charlie, we have reached a plateau of maturity. i have ch-ch-changed. charlie: what is it that you do best? >> i think i would have loved to have been like sting, and be a teacher. i would have liked to have done that. is toeally gets me off introduce people to new things. i love the feeling of introducing a new subject, especially to younger people, that excites them and gets them going on something. opening up some kind of world.
i love taking people to art galleries, and corny things like that. it is a joy i have always had, with my son especially. it has been terrific to take them to the theater one week, than a dance club or rock show, then an art museum. it is great to see how someone takes these same influences and puts them together their own way. i remember when people do that for me, i felt it was a gift. when anyone took me or showed me a new weight of doing things -- a new way of doing things. that is the greatest gift, and i love giving it back. charlie: you have always resisted any notion that this creativity comes from dysfunction or madness. >> i have often wondered if -- isng an artist of any nature a sign of a certain kind of
social dysfunction alyssum. -- dysfunctionialism. thing toextraordinary want to express yourself in such rarefied terms. i think it is a loony kind of thing to want to do. the saner and rational approach to life is to serve -- survive steadfastly, create a protective home, create a warm and loving environment for one's family and get food -- that is about it. anything else is extra. culture is extra. culture is a freebie. we only need to eat, we don't need particular colored plates, or chairs. anything will do, but we insist on 1000 types of chairs, and 15 kinds of plates. it is unnecessary, and a sign of the irrational part of man.
charlie: how do you feel about "let's dance"? >> it was an extraordinary acceptance i had. up until that time, i was happy being a major told figure. -- cult figure. it gave me a lot of freedom. i knew that i could depend on an audience that would virtually follow my whims, and i could do what i wanted. almost becamece" a hindrance and an obstacle. but suddenly my poles changed. my focus was on, what are the audience's expectations? i started writing for an audience, which i had never done before. what i learned that, for me, that was a stupid thing to do, i got back to writing for myself.
equilibrium has been arrived at now. i am happy with the way things are, musically and with the kind of simpatico i have with my audience. charlie: it got a lot of good reviews. >> i was so pleased, it was an album with no compromises whatsoever. i was so pleased with the way it was accepted. that is nice when that happens. charlie: let me start with your 50th birthday. >> 51 now. charlie: you are not unhappy. you don't seem to have arrived at acceptance. it may not have been as hard as 40. >> 40 was difficult. charlie: you didn't want to let go of not in 20. >> it was also my nadir as a musician. i was writing crap, and nothing was going right artistically. i was trying to write for audiences.
it was right in the middle of that period, 1987. it was astonishingly awful for me. aboutto -- it is almost pulling yourself together and saying, i have maybe this finite length of time left, i really would like to enjoy it. stop self-pity, stop all these things, poll yourself together. make some decisions about what it is you want in life. the first thing i wanted was for each day to be really good, so i had to go about changing everything in my life. everything. i have arrived now at a place that i hope i am not self-satisfied, but i am certainly a fulfilled man. romantically, musically, artistically, i love my family. we are so close. i have a terrific relationship with my son. i cannot tell you how great.
mark: i am mark halperin. john: i am john heilemann. with all due respect to joe biden, it is nice to have you back. greetings from pasadena, california. on the show tonight, the president's last hurrah, and gop escalation. but first, bernie sanders on the rise. he his first election cycle, is leaving hillary clinton in major polls in new hampshire and in iowa. he is up 14% in a monmouth poll